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5 Tips for Beating the Summer Heat


Ah, childhood summers—where the days never seemed to end and we’d spend them playing outside with our friends from sunup to sundown. Although our parents may have urged us to stay hydrated, chances are we weren’t too concerned about anything other than having fun until the new school year in September.

No matter your age, staying hydrated during the summer months is still an important component of your health. It’s easy to go about your day without thinking about how much water you’ve had to drink, or to forget to eat foods that will keep you feeling good. Here are five tips to help you stay hydrated so you can enjoy your summer.

Drink Water Before, During, and After Outdoor Activities

Whether you’re playing a sport, going for a hike, or just sitting outside to catch some rays, it’s important to drink water throughout the entire activity. Everyone is different, so the amount of recommended water intake while exercising varies from person to person. Your sweat rate, the humidity, and how long you’re exercising are all factors that you should consider.

The American Council on Exercise suggests the average person drink 17 to 20 ounces of water two to three hours before they begin exercising, and eight ounces 20 to 30 minutes prior to exercising. While you’re active, you should drink seven to 10 ounces of water every 10 to 20 minutes. Within 30 minutes of finishing your exercise, you should drink eight ounces of water.

Eat Watery Foods to Replace Lost Fluids

You can get your recommended water intake through solid foods, too! After you’ve finished a tough workout or a long day in the sun, replace fluids by eating watery foods like watermelon, iceberg lettuce, oranges, and strawberries. Cucumbers have the highest water content of any solid food, and can be served in many different ways, including in a salad or soup. Celery, radishes, and tomatoes are also solid foods with a water content of over 90 percent. Here’s a full list of great foods you can incorporate into your diet to stay hydrated.

The recommended eight glasses of water per day may seem like an impossible task. But solid foods with high water content help us to get the H2O we need. Whether you’re 7 or 77, remember to eat your fruits and vegetables all summer long.

Carry a Water Bottle With You

Carrying a water bottle is one of the easiest ways to stay hydrated. This allows you to have access to water whenever you’re feeling dehydrated. Not only is this a great way to have access to water no matter where you are, but it will also help you save money. Refilling a reusable water bottle with tap water will save you from buying bottled water in bulk at the grocery store each week.

Using a water bottle can also help you to feel more alert during the day. If you’re at work and you hit that midday wall where you feel like your energy has been zapped, having a bottle of water nearby can give you the energy boost you need to keep going. Staying hydrated also helps to keep us in a better mood and reduces frustration.

Know the Signs of Dehydration

Dry skin is a sign of dehydration. When skin is dehydrated, it becomes irritated, inflamed, itchy, and sensitive. The skin will feel tight, and flaking and scaling could occur. Redness and cracks that lead to bleeding are common. While it may be easy to brush aside headaches as symptoms of stress or tension, they can also be caused by dehydration. When a headache is caused by dehydration, it’s likely to be accompanied by other symptoms, such as dry mouth and nausea.

We’re all familiar with the sensation of feeling dizzy and fatigued due to dehydration. If you’re feeling lethargic and confused, or you experience dizziness that doesn’t go away quickly, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Incorporate Fluid Intake in Your Daily Routine

Make staying hydrated a habit so you don’t have to go out of your way to get your daily water intake. Have a cup of water each morning when you wake up, or a glass right before you go to bed. Enjoy a cup of green tea each day after lunch. Make drinking water a part of your daily routine, and not something that you have to go out of your way to get done.

Stay Cool

The best way to make sure that you stay happy, healthy, and feeling great this summer is to stay hydrated. Frederick Regional Health System wishes you a safe and enjoyable summer.